- Title: Palestinians suspend prayers at mosques, churches to fight coronavirus
- Date: 14th March 2020
- Summary: RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (RECENT - MARCH 7, 2020) (REUTERS) WORKER DISINFECTING MOSQUE WHILE WORSHIPPER READING KORAN KORAN WORKER DISINFECTING MOSQUE WORKER DISINFECTING MOSQUE WHILE WORSHIPPER READING KORAN WORKER DISINFECTING MOSQUE RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (MARCH 14, 2020) (REUTERS) SPOKESMAN OF THE PALESTINIAN GOVERNMENT IBRAHIM MELHEM ARRIVING AT CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SPOKESMAN OF THE PALESTINIAN GOVERNMENT IBRAHIM MELHEM, SAYING: "The Waqf ministry have put out a statement demanding people, worshippers - Muslims and Christians - to hold their prayers at homes in order to stay safe, especially that the main reason for the spreading of this epidemic is gatherings." RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (RECENT - MARCH 7, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PALESTINIAN WORKERS DISINFECTING CHURCH CHRISTIAN ARTWORK ON CHURCH WALL WORKER DISINFECTING CHURCH
- Keywords: Coronavirus Palestinians Waqf prayers
- Reuters ID: LVA001C50XLX1
- Location: RAMALLAH, WEST BANK
- City: RAMALLAH, WEST BANK
- Country: Palestinian Occupied Territory
- Duration: 00:01:09
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Story Text:EDITORS NOTE: FOOTAGE OF DISINFECTING IN MOSQUE AND CHURCH IN THIS EDIT ARE FILE
The Palestinian Authority suspended prayers in mosques and churches in the occupied West Bank on Saturday (March 14) to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, and Gaza's Hamas rulers said all the enclave's border crossings would be shut for travel.
The Palestinian Authority's Religious Affairs Ministry asked Palestinians to worship at home.
In Ramallah, a prayer leader reciting the Muslim call to prayer at one mosque in the early evening added the words: "Pray at home, pray at home."
According to Palestinian health officials, 38 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the West Bank, where the Palestinians have limited self-rule under the Palestinian Authority. None have been reported in the densely-populated Gaza Strip, which is controlled by the Islamist Hamas group.
Religious authorities have so far kept Jerusalem's Al Aqsa mosque, which is Islam's third holiest site, open for prayers.
The Jordan-appointed council that oversees Islamic sites on Jerusalem's sacred compound has kept it open for Friday prayers, encouraging faithful to congregate on the 35-acre complex's outdoor grounds rather than inside its covered shrines.
The Waqf council reassured worshippers in a statement this week that the entire compound, including its golden Dome of the Rock shrine, was being "sterilised continuously".
Muslim faithful believe the site to be where the Prophet Mohammad ascended to heaven. Jews revere it as the site of the Jewish temples of antiquity. It is one of the most sensitive venues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
(Production: Saed Howari, Suheir Sheikh)
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